6th: Adinkra Cloth Designs

6th grade has been learning even more about cultures and what influences them in their development. Tradition is one such influence on the development of culture. Students have been exploring many different kinds of traditions that take place in different cultures around the world. For this project, students learned about the artisans of the Adinkra cloths in Ghana, which are made from the designs of hand-carved stamps.

Starting from sketches, students had to design 4, 3″ x 3″stamps. The goal of the students was to create abstract stamps that utilized the positive and negative space of their whole square. The designs were then used to create their stamps from foam paper.

Each of these square stamps was used to create a larger design, inspired by the Adinkra cloths.

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4th & 5th: Stamp Creation and Printmaking

After several exercises to better understand positive and negative space and how it can be used in a work, students designed their own 5″x 7″ stamps using scraps of foam paper which they then glued to a foam background. Students then created backgrounds they felt would best display the design of their stamps. Finally, students learned the process of printmaking and applied their stamp to their painted backgrounds.

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MS: Stereotype Bobbleheads

Students in the Fall Middle School elective class finished their semester of exploring their own identities and their communities by creating self-portrait bobbleheads. The bobbleheads were constructed with Model Magic, wire, and acrylic paint.

Each student’s task was to address a stereotype they face through the creation of their bobblehead. Each bobblehead was later combined with text and additional visuals to debunk this stereotype. This project got students talking about why stereotypes exist and how each member of a community can affect change, particularly through artmaking and visual literacy.

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“I wear glasses and can still be a hero.”
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“Girls can be strong too.”
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“I can be messy and still get good grades.”
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“Nobody can be perfect.”
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“Just because I have good grades, doesn’t mean I don’t have a life.”
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“I’m a girl and play sports.”
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“I’m thin – society says I have to be a model.”

4th & 5th: Notan Designs

Students began learning about postive and negative space by participating in the creation of their own Notan-inspired designs. Notan is a traditional art from originating from Japan where the artists cut out designs they then “flip” to the outside border. Results are always stunning!

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6A: Chalk Installation

To complete our unit on community, students collaborated to create an art installation.

Students learned about pixels, optical color mixing, and artmaking through grids. Inspired by artists such as Chuck Close, students had to choose an image representative of the community that would be viewing it. Then, students were led through the process of grid creation.

It is through this grid and collaboration that we were able to perform a temporary art installation for the school community from chalk.

How amazing it was to see the hard work of each student! Next to the piece, it is nearly impossible to see what the image contains. From above, however, we were able to cheer and high-five over our beautiful accomplishment!

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6th: Community Printmaking

6th graders have been challenged to create self portraits in various formats throughout the semester. Most recently, students learned about the processes of printmaking through the creation of a styrofoam printing plate.

While we have been talking about symbolism in art for the entire semester, we discussed how the items we own say something about who we are as a person. Students were asked to think critically while shown a variety of pictures of bedrooms: based on what is in the bedrooms, what can we infer about the person who inhabits it?

With these considerations in mind, students were to choose an object from their own bedrooms to represent some aspect of their personality. This object was then reduced to a simple line sketch and translated into the printing plate.

Each student had to generate a series of 4 differently colored prints from this plate.

Finally, students had to collaborate in the creation of one large print that incorporated all of their individual objects. From the portraits of each student, we were able to generate a portrait of their entire classroom community.

 

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5B: Texture Hunt!

Congratulations to the students in 5th B who have worked hard to earn their art party! This group of students voted to have an art activity outside as a reward.

At the beginning of class and in the classroom, students learned about textures and how to perform a successful texture rubbing. Then, we went outside as a class and explored the campus; we were on a texture hunt!

Students were encouraged to layer textures and colors to add visual interest to their compositions.

 

4th & 5th: Pixel Self Portraits

Students in the 4th and 5th grades have been learning about self portraiture. During this lesson, students generated self portraits while drawing inspiration from digital media such as Minecraft.

Students learned about pixels, digital art, and how to apply math concepts to create a work of art representing themselves on a grid.

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6th: Sgraffito Self Portraits

As the capstone to their Personal Identity unit, students have been working on contour self portraits. Students learned about proportions in order to aid them in drawing their own face.

Each student was able to choose a photograph of themselves from their personal device then had to draw from observation. Each finished drawing was outlined in Sharpie, then filled completely with a thick coat of oil pastel.

Next week, students will finish these projects by adding layers of Sgraffito to the surface of their drawings to add texture and visual interest. (This will be done through a layer of black paint on top, which is then scratched in to.)

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Community Watercolor Weavings

Students in the 4th and 5th grades were asked, “how can colors be used to say something about yourself?” In response, students created two paintings while reflecting on their color choices and how those choices can say something about who they are.

Students were then able to choose between their two paintings, keeping their favorite one to use as the base for their weaving. The other was cut into strips then shared with each other student in the class.

These weavings, while combining the artistic talents of every student, create colorful portraits of the classroom communities as a whole.

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